cran2deb: Generate Debian packages for R from package sources
Summary: GNU R has become the preeminent platform for 'computing with data'. The CRAN archives contain over 1300 source packages of very high-quality, and BioConductor has again almost as many focuses on bioinformatics. We want more of these in Debian, and going beyond the 50+ packages we currently have suggests more scripting and automation.
Familiarity with R, preferably actual programming experience; alternatively programming experience in another scripting language (Perl, Python, ...)
- Some familiarity with Debian package building
- C++ knowledge may be beneficial to connect to apt's data structures
- Basic SQL knowledge may be helpful for the meta-data collection
Description: CRAN packages have in almost all cases licenses are suitable for Debian 'main'. Moreover, the internal packaging and structure of these packages already resembles some of the Debian meta-data, and the build process itself is standardised. What is needed are a set of tools to collect package meta-data (and the CRANberries aggregator has one-half, apt has the other), 'map' the meta-data and then script package fragments. While the PkgBioc project on Alioth has done work in this area, it may be worthwhile to try a new and simpler approach.